Rachel the Family Coordinator here this week. I hope everyone is enjoying the sunshine that’s finally decided to make an appearance!
Since coming back off furlough in the early spring we’ve now had two really successful equipment rounds; our panel have agreed over 40 pieces of equipment for children and local charities – which I think you’ll agree is marvellous!
We can always tell when spring and summer are on their way – we see many more applications for trikes, specialist bikes and outdoor play equipment at these times of the year. It’s really wonderful to know that so many children and young people are going to have a super summer getting out and about enjoying themselves with their new trikes – which always have bespoke colour choices in all the colours of the rainbow! But outdoor play equipment provides so much more than just an opportunity to get outside. For many children the equipment allows them to practice their physiotherapy – strengthening their muscles and bones and fitness – whilst having fun at the same time. Being able to ride a trike also boosts self esteem, confidence and creates opportunities to play with friends and siblings. All of this is crucial for children’s social and emotional development; especially after the past 18 months. For older children and teens, trikes and specialist bikes offer a freedom and independence that otherwise would not exist or be available to them.
I imagine many of you reading this may well have fond memories of summers gone by, getting out on bike rides and just letting all your worries blow away with the breeze in your face. But, for many of our children and families, it isn’t such a simple thing to just buy a bike and get adventuring. The trikes we fund have special adaptations and accessories to ensure that children with a wide variety of physical disabilities can ride them safely. This creates a huge rise in cost to reflect the very specialised nature of the equipment. For many families, this cost is simply too expensive. Rather than a bike from online or high street retailer for an 8 year old say, £80; a trike cost would start at £1,100.
We have children waiting patiently, but desperately for equipment like this so that they too, can get out and enjoy their summer. We’re so grateful to our supporters for their continued support, but if you can spare a couple of quid this week, please consider donating to us. You can find details about how to support us in the box below.
Perhaps you’re reading this and thinking, “you know what, maybe it’s time to have a look into this applying for equipment business”, but you’re not sure where to start?
Head over to our website – www.sunshinefund.org and go to our Apply page. On there you’ll find information about how to apply; download our application pack and even find helpful tutorial videos that guide you step by step through the process. You can also find my contact details – I’m always delighted to receive emails, calls or text messages from parents, young people or professionals who are interested in applying to us and I’m here to support you every step of the way.
Our next equipment assessment meeting is due in August (date is to be confirmed but keep checking back on our website) so you’ve got plenty of time to get that application started and submitted!
Please remember we need the following to be submitted with every application:
- Application form
- Data/Consent forms
- Two letters of support from appropriate professionals *
- Two quotes for the equipment you need **
* Depending on what type of equipment you are applying for, you will need to approach different professionals. For example, for a trike – we’d need at least one letter to be from a Physiotherapist or Occupational Therapist. For a laptop to support with learning, we’d need to see at least one letter from an education professional.
** Unless you are applying for a standard iPad or laptop; in which case you do not need to provide quotes.
I look forward to hearing from you!